[Federal Register Volume 73, Number 245 (Friday, December 19, 2008)]
[Notices]
[Page 77594]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Printing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: E8-30216]


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DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE

Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service

[Docket No. APHIS-2008-0084]


Notice of Decision to Issue Permits for the Importation of Fresh 
White Asparagus From Senegal Into the Continental United States

AGENCY: Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service, USDA.

ACTION: Notice.

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SUMMARY: We are advising the public of our decision to begin issuing 
permits for the importation into the continental United States of fresh 
white asparagus from Senegal. Based on the findings of a pest risk 
analysis, which we made available to the public for review and comment 
through a previous notice, we believe that the application of one or 
more designated phytosanitary measures will be sufficient to mitigate 
the risks of introducing or disseminating plant pests or noxious weeds 
via the importation of fresh white asparagus from Senegal.

DATES: Effective Date: December 19, 2008.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Dr. Shirley Wager Pag[eacute], Branch 
Chief, Commodity Import Analysis and Operations Staff, PPQ, APHIS, 4700 
River Road, Unit 133, Riverdale, MD 20737-1231; (301) 734-8758.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Under the regulations in ``Subpart-Fruits 
and Vegetables'' (7 CFR 319.56 through 319.56-47, referred to below as 
the regulations), the Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service 
(APHIS) of the U.S. Department of Agriculture prohibits or restricts 
the importation of fruits and vegetables into the United States from 
certain parts of the world to prevent plant pests from being introduced 
into and spread within the United States.
    Section 319.56-4 of the regulations contains a performance-based 
process for approving the importation of commodities that, based on the 
findings of a pest risk analysis, can be safely imported subject to one 
or more of the designated phytosanitary measures listed in paragraph 
(b) of that section. Under that process, APHIS publishes a notice in 
the Federal Register announcing the availability of the pest risk 
analysis that evaluates the risks associated with the importation of a 
particular fruit or vegetable. Following the close of the 60-day 
comment period, APHIS may begin issuing permits for importation of the 
fruit or vegetable subject to the identified designated measures if: 
(1) No comments were received on the pest risk analysis; (2) the 
comments on the pest risk analysis revealed that no changes to the pest 
risk analysis were necessary; or (3) changes to the pest risk analysis 
were made in response to public comments, but the changes did not 
affect the overall conclusions of the analysis and the Administrator's 
determination of risk.
    In accordance with that process, we published a notice \1\ in the 
Federal Register on August 18, 2008 (73 FR 48189-48190, Docket No. 
APHIS-2008-0084), in which we announced the availability, for review 
and comment, of a pest risk analysis that evaluates the risks 
associated with the importation into the continental United States of 
fresh white asparagus from Senegal. We solicited comments on the notice 
for 60 days ending on October 17, 2008. We received one comment by that 
date, from a State department of agriculture. The commenter agreed that 
the mitigation measures described in the pest risk analysis would be 
adequate.
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    \1\ To view the notice and the pest risk analysis, go to http://
www.regulations.gov/fdmspublic/component/
main?main=DocketDetail&d=APHIS-2008-0084.
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    Therefore, in accordance with the regulations in Sec.  319.56-
4(c)(2)(ii), we are announcing our decision to begin issuing permits 
for the importation into the continental United States of fresh white 
asparagus from Senegal subject to the following phytosanitary measures:
     Each shipment of white asparagus must be accompanied by a 
phytosanitary certificate bearing the following additional declaration: 
``The white asparagus in this consignment has been inspected and found 
free of Cochliobolus pallescens (Curvulaia pallescens).'' The 
phytosanitary certificate with the additional declaration must be 
issued by the national plant protection organization of Senegal.
     Each shipment is subject to inspection upon arrival in the 
United States.
     The white asparagus must be a commercial consignment as 
defined in 7 CFR 319.56-2.
    These conditions will be listed in the Fruits and Vegetables Import 
Requirements database (available at http://www.aphis.usda.gov/favir). 
In addition to those specific measures, the fresh white asparagus will 
be subject to the general requirements listed in Sec.  319.56-3 that 
are applicable to the importation of all fruits and vegetables.

    Authority: 7 U.S.C. 450, 7701-7772, and 7781-7786; 21 U.S.C. 136 
and 136a; 7 CFR 2.22, 2.80, and 371.3.

    Done in Washington, DC, this 15th day of December 2008.
Kevin Shea,
Acting Administrator, Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service.
 [FR Doc. E8-30216 Filed 12-18-08; 8:45 am]
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